Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Writing and Writer's Groups

By K.M. Humphreys

         Writing has been around for centuries, dating back to at least 3100 BC in the area of what is now modern day Iraq.  Soon after were the Egyptians.  Egyptian hieroglyphics are what most people think of when they think about early forms of writing.  They were a form of storytelling.   The Chinese script was developed around 1600 BC and still exists today, and was used to develop the Japanese language as well. 
Writing has developed over the centuries to become a powerful form of communication.  From sending information to telling a story, it is used in everyday life.  In today’s high tech society, communication is often abbreviated, such as LOL. 
                I first remember writing when I was in sixth grade.  I worked hard on many manuscripts that never saw the light of day.  They are still stashed somewhere.  They were written at a sixth grade level for sixth graders.  Writing was a passion all through middle school and high school and as I got older and had less and less time to write as I pursued one career, and then another. My love for writing never completely left me and within the last few years I’ve been writing so much more and learning more about the writing process such as planning, outlining, critiquing (it’s not a bad thing) have made me think more about my writing.  My husband has been a big supporter of my getting back into writing. 
                I decided to join some writing groups soon after I got back into writing.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  When I first joined, I really didn’t know if these groups would help me, but decided to give it a try anyways.  I first joined Sisters in Crime and soon learned that a lot of them were also involved in Pennwriters.  So, I joined Pennwriters. 
                Since joining these groups I have learned a lot about the craft of writing.  I mentioned at the beginning of this blog about writing being an art.  These groups showed me just how much of an art it really is.  Everybody thinks in different ways and because of that, everybody has a different process and writes differently.  There really are no two writers who are exactly alike.  They may be close, but there will be differences.  These differences allow writers like me to learn different techniques   I keep trying different ideas that I think might work for me.  I know I will find a technique and process that works well for me. 
                Writing is a way of expressing oneself.  The writing groups I have joined allow each individual to share ideas, thoughts and concerns.  We help each other through times when we’re having difficulty getting writing time in and brainstorm with each other.  They are supportive of the creative mind, and we understand that mind thinks in different ways than non-creative people.  Writers understand that and encourage it.
                If you are truly serious about writing, and becoming part of the history of writing, you should seriously consider joining a writing group.  They are there to support you and keep the art of writing alive.

* The early dates of writing I obtained from historyworld.net


Joyce said...

Welcome to Working Stiffs, Kristin!

Gina said...

One of the most exciting archeological speculations I've run across is the theory that early cave paintings were actually a form of writing. We've all seen the pictures of Lascaux, etc., where very realistic animal forms are interspersed with outlines of human hands that appear to be missing fingers. Early speculation was that the pictures were some kind of magic; the hand outlines were explained away by theorizing that these Ice Age people were losing fingers to frost-bite. Then somebody realized that low-tech hunters, who have to sneak up on their prey, often develop a sign language so they can communicate silently. What if the hand outlines are really sign language, and the animal drawings are part of it? What if some stone age human was writing a note on the wall, saying, "I'll meet you in the meadow where we shot the deer when the bison migrate through here again"? Wouldn't that be cool?

Patg said...

Welcome, Kristin.
I agree that writing groups, or critique groups, are very very useful to writers.
Gina, I believe that anything 'put down' for posterity is writing and the caves of Lascaux are perfect examples of human mind making those attempts.

Melissa Sugar said...

Good advice. I have been wanting to join a writing group for some time now. I have researched my area and cannot find a local one to meet in person so I am going to explore on-line groups.

Thank you.